January 23, 2017 by Anna Peters
Contributing writer Ted Bauer
When Millennials become managers of others, what can we expect? How do they manage differently?
We’ve been managing in similar ways for generations now (maybe as far back as 1911), but in the last few years, Millennials have overtaken Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation. Right this second, being younger and all, Millennials aren’t running many companies yet. But they are managing: some research says 62% of global workers have had a Millennial boss at least once.
One important distinction here is that oftentimes, Millennials see themselves as leaders even if the job title doesn’t back that up. That was a key finding in a recent report from The Hartford. Here are a few other trends we see in Millennial managers:
The work-life balance issue: Millennials are known for demanding work-life balance, but when they become managers, they are actually struggling with work-life balance. Being young, they might feel they have more to prove in a role, and thus feel more pressure or spend more time at work. Other research has backed this up, calling Millennials one of the biggest workaholic generations. If you work for a Millennial who spends 12 hours+ per day at work and you feel the need to match or exceed that, this aspect of Millennial managers could be a con.
Less command and control. More collaboration: This is a big theme of Millennial managers, with the common logic being that they grew up in more group activities — and thus feel comfortable in that setting. This is a very good thing, as one study has shown command and control management styles are literally taking years off people’s lives. Continue Reading
January 11, 2017 by Anna Peters
The 2016 Most Desirable Jobs survey has some surprising results. The Career Advisory Board (CAB), of which College Recruiter’s founder Steven Rothberg is a member, released the survey recently. Their intention is to advise employers, who increasingly find themselves in steep competition for qualified talent. The results include ideal job characteristics, most appealing work styles and what employees value at work. Employers will rejoice when they hear that they may not have to throw out their conventional wisdom.
One key finding that may surprise you: Millennials were more likely to want to work in an office every day than their older colleagues. We spoke with Alexandra Levit, business and workplace consultant and Career Advisory Board member. She gave us her interpretation of the survey results, including what surprised her, trends of the Millennial generation, the gig economy, and more. Watch our interview with Alexandra:
October 24, 2016 by Anna Peters
Guest writer Walt Capell, President/Owner of Workers Compensation Shop
1. The workforce in the insurance industry is aging.
According to the Insurance Journal, “The average age of an insurance industry professional is 54, and 60 percent of insurance industry professionals are older than 45.” For this reason, there are going to be a considerable amount of people in the industry who will retire over the next 15 years. For the millennial generation this opens up opportunities for them to gain experience, have access to mentors with years of wisdom and position themselves for very lucrative positions in the not so distant future.
2. It’s not just a guy’s club anymore.
In the past, the insurance industry has been heavily male dominated. Change has come slowly but surely. When you make a living depending upon successful risk analysis you tend to stick to what has been proven to work in the past and you tend to be wary of any new ways of doing things. For people who have worked in insurance for a long time, it is their nature to stick with what works and avoid risk or changes. Fortunately, more businesses in the industry have recognized the need to be more inclusive of women and the guy’s club is more a thing of the past. In 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, women made up 47% of the overall workforce, but they were 59% of the workforce in the insurance industry.
There are still far too few women in leadership roles, however. According to 2011 Bureau of Labor Statistics Data women make up only 6% of top executive positions, 12.5% of seats of the board of directors and only 8% work inside business, legal or actuarial officer roles. A few examples of these roles include chief actuary and division president.
3. People will always have to purchase insurance in some form or fashion.
Insurance is kind of like death and taxes. Everyone has to purchase some form of insurance whether they like it or not. This is true if you want to drive a car or own a home. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act people now must purchase health coverage or face a fine. Depending upon the state in which you live, nearly all businesses are required to purchase general liability and workers compensation insurance. Because of these requirements to purchase coverage, the insurance industry will continue to provide recent graduates with relatively stable growth for the foreseeable future.
4. Millennials are becoming a target market.
Millennials are now approaching the age where they are purchasing insurance on their own and are beginning to start their own businesses. This makes them a target market for insurance companies to market to. Before long they will be a larger part of the population than the baby boomers who were the largest generation in history. This is good for millennial women because these insurance companies will market to millennials on their terms. Twenty years ago most insurance transactions took place in person or maybe over the phone with someone you knew closely. Millennials, however, are comfortable searching for and purchasing an insurance policy over their mobile device without ever interacting with a person. Because the way a customer purchases insurance has changed so dramatically over the past decade, the industry needs people to help them reach these customers through technology. Older generations, who now make up a majority of the workforce in the insurance industry, are generally less technologically savvy. Young job seekers with a variety of backgrounds—from IT and Graphic Design to even Digital Marketing—should consider the insurance industry as a career path.
Walt Capell is the President/Owner of Workers Compensation Shop. Walt started Workers Compensation Shop in 2005. Workers Compensation Shop is a rapidly growing national insurance agency with a strong reputation for forward-thinking, out-of-the-box products and solutions for business owners. Walt would like to use his experience in insurance and as a small business owner to benefit the small business community.
October 20, 2016 by Anna Peters
Guest writer Luciana Amaro, Vice President Talent Development & Strategy, BASF
The STEM workforce is crucial to America’s global competitiveness. STEM graduates have more career opportunities now than any other time in U.S. history. This three-part series from BASF, a global chemical company, examines ways that recent college grads can establish a strong foundation to join the next generation of scientists and engineers. The first post in this series examined the different education paths to consider when preparing for a STEM and the second post examined the STEM career opportunities available.
STEM employment will increase rapidly: about 13 percent between 2012 and 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In fact, the U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that STEM jobs will outgrow non-STEM jobs by almost two to one.
If you are planning a career in STEM, you should know which areas are expected to have the most job openings. For instance, the fastest-growing STEM undergraduate degrees in 2013 were statistics, computer information technology, administration and management, and environmental health engineering, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Once you’ve landed your STEM job, how do you advance your career?
Forward-thinking companies recognize the importance of creating a strong internal talent pipeline in order to fill the skills gap, and seek to attract and retain employees with growth potential. Many businesses now provide unique opportunities for employees to design their career in a variety of ways and explore multiple job functions within a variety of disciplines, rather than limit professional development to a linear career ladder.
A great way to learn about other jobs is to immerse yourself in the company as a whole, and look for opportunities to participate in projects or interests that are outside of your job description. Some companies offer employees the chance to work with different groups and take on new responsibilities, exposing them to other roles from both an upward and lateral perspective. For example, BASF offers leadership development programs to help employees master new skills and discover additional talents. We organize these programs as rotational assignments, which provide entry-level hires with diverse working experiences. This is a good way to build their skills and professional network through cross-business training programs in areas such as marketing, engineering and supply chain management.
Previous generations typically followed a linear career plan. However, today’s workforce seeks career experiences that are diverse, engaging and innovative. BASF offers unique non-linear career journeys, described as “career roadmaps” rather than “career paths.” For example, a manufacturing engineer working in plastics can use his or her product knowledge to switch over to a marketing position. Mid- or senior-level employees in the same field may have had very different career journeys that landed them in similar positions.
It’s important to take ownership of your career goals, rather than adhering to the conventional belief that you need to perform at a certain level to reach a certain role by a particular age. Businesses today are empowering employees to embrace the freedom to creatively pursue their career goals. Through formal mentoring programs along with advanced training and education opportunities, companies are helping employees shape their aspirations and continue to develop their skills both on and off the job.
It’s important to have regular conversations with your supervisor to set career goals for yourself and track your performance. If you discover a passion in an area outside your particular realm, see how you can work together to integrate new responsibilities into your role or transition into a new position.
The STEM industry offers great flexibility to explore new interests and opportunities on and off the job. If you are an entry-level employee, be sure to keep an open mind and be willing to try new things. You may be surprised by where your career takes you.
Luciana Amaro is a Vice President in BASF Corporation’s Human Resources department, leading the Talent Development and Strategy unit. In her current role, which she assumed on August 1, 2014, she is responsible for North American talent management, leadership development, staffing and university relations, workforce planning, learning and development, organizational development and change management.
August 09, 2016 by William Frierson
As college students and recent graduates enter the workforce, they will likely meet people who can assist them with their job searches. When these opportunities arise, job seekers be prepared to take advantage of them. While some job seekers may not be the most outgoing in terms of personality, they can still be effective when networking. However, if students and grads don’t understand how to network, they can hurt their chances of building important relationships that can advance their careers. So as job seekers attend networking events, they must be mindful of what not to do. Mike Summers, Director of Employer Relations at Wake Forest University, highlights common networking mistakes to avoid.
“Blindly reaching out without knowing basic information about a person, the kind of details usually found through a quick Google or LinkedIn search, is a red flag signaling a bad start to the networking experience. A wishful connection will be less likely to engage if college students or prospective hires don’t bring any background knowledge to the table.
Expecting a networking connection will “tell me what to do.” Before reaching out, know the information you want. It’s helpful to have an informal script handy. “My name is Sue Smith; I’m a business major and art history minor interested in an entry-level job working in the cosmetic industry in New York. I’m hoping to secure a summer internship. Could you share with me how you got into the industry and any suggestions or recommendations you might have?”
Thinking the number of connections matters. Networking is about relationships, not numbers. Targeted outreach to people who share common interests makes networking effective. Two people may connect in an unlimited number of ways, such as graduating from the same school, being from the same hometown, choosing a similar academic path, or by an interest in a particular career. Whatever it is, a real connection matters.
The first outreach is inappropriate or unprofessional. Treat networking opportunities as professional conversations. It’s easier to move from formal to casual than vice-versa. Having good manners and dressing appropriately (which is very different if you’re interested in a career in journalism versus a career on Wall Street) is critical in creating the first impression that builds your reputation.”
With more than 25 years of experience in the private sector, nearly half assisting organizations with recruiting, interviewing, and hiring top talent, Mike Summers, Director of Employer Relations at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has an insider’s understanding of what employers are seeking and helping students and recent grads showcase their academic skills and personal experiences. Wake Forest’s one, university-wide employer relations team means Summers has experience with and supports the employment search for students in all academic areas, teaching and empowering them to articulate the value of their education for today’s employers.
July 22, 2016 by Bethany Wallace
Beginning a new career is a challenge, no matter the field. It is logical, then, to view starting a new job in career services as borderline daunting. Landing a career where you help others develop their own careers? Yikes! But don’t sweat it. If you’re a newbie to career services, take a deep breath and check out these helpful tips from someone who has recently stood in your shoes.
That’s right. I’m right there with you. I have logged less than a year in career services – 10 months, actually – and I can tell you that it’s taken each day in those ten months for me to develop a clear picture of how I’d like the services this office provides to look in three years. I’ve also come to realize that to remain effective and relevant, this office can’t stay the same forever but must change with the times and the students who walk through its doors. I’ve learned so much in the last 10 months, and I’m content knowing that I have much more to learn and more opportunities to pursue within this office. That being said, here are eight necessities I’ve embraced in taking on my new role in career services. Good luck to you, and pay close attention to number one.
1) Get excited! I mean it! Get. Excited. This is an amazing, dynamic field where each day you’ll have clients leaving your office happier than when they arrived and where your colleagues are always looking forward. Hope abounds. Potential is realized. You’re part of one of the most important services a college campus can provide, in my opinion, because you help the future drivers of our economy and leaders of our workforce develop the skills they’ll need to succeed in life beyond college. What an awesome space to occupy!
2) Know your history. If you’re coming into a position previously occupied by another individual, be sure to network with that individual to determine the direction of the career center up to the point of your arrival – including the career center’s current strengths, challenges, and opportunities. Read last year’s annual report as well as those from two-three years prior. Knowing where you’re coming from helps you develop a map for where you’re trying to go.
3) Know your target audience. This is perhaps the key to effective operation of a career center. Whether you serve Millennials, non-traditional students, students of a particular academic background, or any other group, knowledge of your target audience is an integral factor in developing student programming, opportunities, marketing efforts, and career coaching practices. A resource I’ve enjoyed for learning more about Millennials (my primary target audience) is Lindsey Pollak’s book, Becoming the Boss, though I’ve also learned from her presentations at the Kennan Summit 2015 and the NACE Conference keynote address.
It’s important to note that there are more factors in identifying your target audience than generational attributes alone. For example, what percent of your students are first-generation? How many receive financial aid? How many are international students? How many are business majors? How many are from the state in which your institution operates? How have these things influenced your students’ career development thus far? All of these factors and more will help you create a clear picture of the human beings you’re going to help and how best to help them.
4) Inventory your resources. Any good carpenter can tell you what tools he/she has, what they’re used for, and how to access them. The same can be said of any good career services professional. Upon entering your new role, you’ll want to ascertain what tools you already have at your disposal – a website? Social media accounts? Job boards? Support staff? Professional memberships? Established student programming events? How about colleagues in other departments with whom you can potentially collaborate on future planning or programming?
This is something your predecessor can really help you with, but keep in mind that he/she is not your only resource. Support staff is always an EXCELLENT resource, particularly if they’ve been around a while. I am very lucky, for instance, to have come into a position where just 20 feet away sits the kindest, most professional administrative coordinator who has worked for the college for many years. Her knowledge of program and general institutional history comes in handy daily, and she is a wonderful sounding board.
Make yourself a list of resources such as those listed above. Go through existing files on the network drives to which you have access. Once you determine what you have, you’re able to decide what you need.
5) Prepare to partner. Career services professionals absolutely must partner with other departments on campus. Neglecting to do so will prohibit optimization of career center programming. In other words, you’ll be missing out, big time, and as a result, the students you’re hired to serve will as well. Collaboration spreads the workload and allows for use of resources your little office will not have on its own.
Partnering is an expectation and, in my opinion, a gift. Embrace it. And keep in mind that partnering isn’t limited to institutional departments. While it’s great to partner with faculty, for example, to market a career fair to students, it’s also excellent to partner with student organizations to boost participation in career center programming. For example, before that very same career fair, you could partner with Greek Life to host an interactive workshop where students prepare for the fair. You’re effectively providing programming for a large, “captive audience,” while at the same time bolstering attendance for your upcoming fair. Plus, your visible connection with this group will encourage other student organizations to partner with your office, thereby boosting your reach. I could go on and on about partnering. Don’t limit your work to the confines of your office! Get out there, and I can promise you, you’ll be happy and effective!
6) Attend a professional conference. The best ideas are often those you learn from colleagues, but your prospects are limited on campus. Professional conferences, such as the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) conference, allow for a meeting of the minds, where career services staff and professionals from the working world can share best practices, trends, and ideas. I attended the NACE conference in June and came home with ideas for events, new partnerships, assessment and reporting techniques, and several new contacts – including employers and other career services professionals with invaluable knowledge and expertise. State and regional-level professional conferences are wonderful resources as well. Look online to find appropriate events for you.
7) Build your network(s). For a career services office to function successfully, the staff must have connections with employers, volunteer services organizations, graduate and professional school reps, other career services professionals – the list goes on. You want to develop a list of contacts you can access and refer to easily throughout your day. If this doesn’t exist upon your arrival, its development will be one of your top three priorities. You’ll refer to this document when you send invitations and save-the-dates for major events, such as career fairs, grad school expos, and student/alumni networking events.
The key to harnessing the power of these connections is getting started. Create a LinkedIn account, if you don’t have one, and begin connecting with company recruiters, career services professionals, and your institution’s alumni group. If you’re like me and are the sole career services professional for your office, consider forming a board of advisors with ten or so alums and professionals whose networks and influence can help you locate campus speakers, boost alumni support of career development efforts, and discover new career opportunities for current students. Remember that your network isn’t limited to you. You have access to your colleagues’ connections as well as the ones you forge yourself. Many times asking for help or advice is the best way to establish a connection, so don’t be afraid to reach out.
8) Keep records and get creative in reporting them. Most career services offices already keep track of how their programming is operating – how many students they reach, what the students are saying about their services, what types of services are used by which students, etc.; but this isn’t enough. Prospective students and their families want to see how your institution’s students are faring in the “real world” before making the financial commitment to attend. Along the same line, prospective donors and business partners like to see the impact of their donations of time and treasure. For these reasons, it’s imperative that career services professionals track current students’ and graduates’ experiential learning achievements and post-grad destinations (their first job or where they go to graduate or professional school) and share that information with other departments on campus. If your office isn’t currently pursuing this data, this is an effort you’ll want to initiate.
About the author, guest writer Annette Castleberry:
Currently Co-Director of Career Services, Annette Castleberry is excited to be promoted to Director of Career Development at Lyon College beginning August 1, 2016. You can connect with Annette and with the Lyon College Career Center on Facebook or www.lyon.edu.
June 19, 2016 by Bethany Wallace
“Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you that you are hired in our organization.”
No matter how many times you have read these magical words, they sound just as thrilling as you read them the first time. If you intend to read them again in your mail this year, then luckily the time is right for you to make a job transition.
2016 brings a wave of new opportunities. As unemployment hits the lowest record since the last five years, there is more scope for job seekers to find better work opportunities; hiring is on the rise. However, this is not the only good news of the New Year. There are also the growing economic conditions that will have a positive impact on the pay scale and perks of employees, making it a perfect time to switch jobs.
On one hand, this is a sigh of relief for job seekers who lived through the ordeal of recession and unemployment in the past couple of years. It also poses many challenges to recruiters who will have to revisit their company policies to compete in the market.
Without further ado, let’s find out what other hiring trends the year holds for the job seekers:
1. Social media will rule the roost
Social media is ubiquitous. As it emerges as a new tool for hiring talent, your social presence will have a say in the success of your job application. Now is the time to update your social profiles as employers will be evaluating you through your presence on major social media platforms.
Having an impressive online profile will not only increase your outreach to potential employers, but it will also get you in front of lucrative job opportunities offered by leading organizations. Therefore, it is high time for you to create strong profiles on leading social media websites, such as LinkedIn and Twitter.
2. Hiring for remote workers will increase
With improvement in collaboration tools, remote employees have evolved as an alternative workforce. No longer do recruiters have to resort to “in-house hiring” process which is both costly and time-consuming for the companies. Since employers can freelance work, the remote work culture will continue to thrive in 2016.
So, if you are a part-time academic writer who offers assignment assistance with quality, you can make it a full-time job this year by finding freelance work opportunities.
3. Flexible work will no longer be a dream
In 2016, the employee’s fantasy of flexible work will become a corporate reality. With changing corporate cultures and attitudes, more businesses are inclining their hiring policies towards flexible work programs. The current year will see a rapid growth in businesses offering flexible hours and alternative work spaces which help them accommodate talent who cannot work under the regular work scenarios.
4. Boomerang hires will be on the rise
According to a survey by Workplace Trends, 76% of the companies are welcoming of the employees who once worked with them. As this hiring trend increases in popularity, more job seekers look for rehiring opportunities for their next job role.
5. Video resumes will become more trendy
With hiring getting more personal, more recruiters will expect to see video resumes of job seekers. In fact, a number of companies have already made video resume a compulsory thing in their job description. So, if you have not yet created a personalized video of your career description, it is about time to shoot a video long enough to demonstrate your professional skills and personal traits.
6. Referral hiring will take the lead
Referral hiring cuts down on the recruitment budget that employers have to bear with traditional hiring. With every passing year, it is emerging as a primary source of hiring workers. If implemented effectively, the referral hiring can significantly save the time and money of a company. As companies come to realize the valuable benefits of this form of hiring, more businesses will be investing in referral programs to hire talent.
2016 is a happening year for job seekers. Get ready for the above-mentioned six trends to make your way to a successful career transition this year.
Kaelynn Bailee is a HR manager working for a new start up that provides both educators and learners a platform to meet and discuss everything education. She also loves blogging and from time to time writes for other blogs.
May 16, 2016 by William Frierson
You may be able to walk the talk, but can you write it?
It’s no big secret that writing skills factor in greatly when it comes to getting and keeping a job, especially in such a competitive market. In a study conducted by Grammarly, out of 100 native English speakers’ LinkedIn profiles, those with fewer grammatical errors had more promotions and held higher positions in their respective companies.
With this in mind, it’s no wonder writing is a crucial communication tool for those in the workforce. In order to be fully able to convey your ideas, you need to articulate them clearly to other people. Writing often serves as the medium we relate ideas with, whether sending and responding to an email or updating our resumes for future employers.
Despite this overwhelming piece of evidence, not everyone pays attention to improving their writing. Do you want to remain stagnant in your job, or do you want to grow and get career prospects? Here are a few tips on how to become a better writer in the workforce:
1. Be a wide reader
You are what you read. There are numerous benefits linked to reading, and among the most notable would be improved writing skills.
In order to be great, you need to take inspiration from those who already are. Train your brain to tune into good writing practices by reading extensively. Others’ writing styles can certainly influence your own if you read them enough. Take time to sit back with a book, a well-written blog entry, or even browse through the news at least once a day. Aside from being able to unwind after or before the stressful day ahead, you’ll also be able to acquire new knowledge.
This tip is especially helpful if you’re in the creative industry, where creative and powerful writing is the main tool of the trade, but it can also be beneficial for simple business writing. Noting some common trends in your favorite writers like style, grammar, and tone go a long way in helping to develop your own voice. You also learn new things in the process, which you can incorporate in the other areas of your life.
2. Read your work backwards
It sounds silly at first, but it’s effective in weeding out any grammatical errors you’ve missed in your last work email. Give it a shot, and it could save you from an embarrassing typo.
Our minds are programmed to autocorrect any minor errors they encounter. Remember those online tests that ask you to spot the “the” in a sentence? You may have been one of the majority who filtered out the extra “the”, in which case this second tip can come in handy to avoid any similar grammatical slip-ups.
Start from the last word of your composition up to the first word you’ve written. Since you’re no longer operating in the context of the content, your focus stays on the form of the text. If you’re already aware of what errors you’re on the lookout for, you’ll be able to spot any repetitive words, misplaced punctuation, and faulty spacing. Note this only works on a structural level, and not if you’re looking for something else like content relevance and fact-checking.
3. Turn spell check on
This doesn’t necessarily improve your skill, but it’s an easy fix if you’re in a hurry to compose an error-free report you’ll be delivering to your bosses the next day. Ruby Hardman, an editor from ResumesPlanet shared: “We can’t always be on top of our writing game, and having technology on our side helps in taking some of the load off our shoulders.”
Turn spell check on so you can automatically spot mistakes without having to painstakingly go through your work word per word. Don’t take this to mean you can let your guard down. In fact, this should give you time to focus on other aspects of your writing. If you’re writing up a resume, take the time to organize the details of it. If you’re writing a speech for a presentation, use it to focus on your tone and fine-tuning your content to the audience you’re presenting to.
Just remember that spell check isn’t perfect, either. There will be some errors it will miss and some idioms it may misinterpret. In that case, always have a dictionary ready to counter-check the results. Sometimes you’ll still have to do the heavy lifting in refining your work, but it will all pay off with a thriving career, and improved communication between yourself and other people.
Get on it write away!
Writing is an often overlooked skill that plays a huge, though subtle, role in leveraging your career. In his article on Harvard Business Review, iFixit’s Kyle Wiens openly declared he wasn’t too keen on hiring people with poor grammar, precisely because they don’t make good employees. According to Wiens, these job seekers lack the critical thinking and orientation to detail that efficient workers and leaders possess.
In order to project the right image to your employer, make sure to be on top of your writing game immediately. Read the right things to absorb some of their influence, proofread your work extensively, and if you’re in a rush, spell check is always a safe option. Just make sure to scan and countercheck for any missed marks.
So what are you waiting for? Become a better writer, and increase your chances of moving up in your industry today.
Paige Donahue is an editor and blogger from Pennsylvania. She is a traveler and a collector of some sort – coins, comic books, and stories. You can connect with her via Twitter.
May 13, 2016 by William Frierson
College students preparing to enter the workforce must consider jobs based on information that extends beyond the description of available positions, including company growth. By considering the characteristics of prospective employers, job seekers can make decisions that can improve their chances of having long, successful careers.
For many college graduates, getting involved with a growing enterprise represents an opportunity to share the benefits of company growth. Employers that currently experience growth and expect it to continue in the future often promote employees from within to fill vacant positions. The move controls recruiting and hiring costs, and gives employees opportunities for professional growth.
Company growth ranks as one of the most important factors in the job search. Although the stability of mature companies that have stopped growing might seem attractive, they could limit career development for new college graduates. Younger companies might bring a degree of uncertainty and increased responsibilities to the table, but they also bring an opportunity for new employees to quickly grow in their profession.
Expanding product lines
Companies that signal growth through the expanded product lines give prospective employees reasons to believe they can grow with the enterprise. Nike, an established company, once experienced periods of growth as the company extended its brand from shoes to clothing, accessories, and electronics. College graduates who see a company expanding in a similar way can expect to gain valuable experience in business and brand development during an extensive career with the same employer. After gaining work experience with such a firm, employees can market their skills and experience to other companies that want to grow.
Growth through acquisition
Growing companies may choose to buy other firms as a pathway to growth. Professionals working for businesses expanding this way can find themselves at the top of the overarching corporate structure. Such a situation exposes employees to diverse business models and organizational structures, as they assimilate new firms into the company. Good performance in positions of high responsibility gives workers a path to higher pay and promotions.
Blue Coat, a growing player in the cloud security market, provided a good example of growth through acquisition when the firm bought Elastica, a startup provider of software that can detect the inappropriate use of cloud-based applications. The company adds innovative technology to the acquiring firm, as well as the responsibility to create synergy with the combined company. Qualified job candidates might consider working for such a company because the business could continue to fuel its growth by buying other companies.
Companies with existing products that seek to grow by entering new markets need well-educated job candidates to fill positions within the growing organization. Graduates who choose to join a firm with a demonstrated pattern of market expansion can expect to have a long-term pathway to career development, as they learn how to deal with markets regionally, nationally, and globally markets. As their employer grows, workers can expect to assume new responsibilities that increase their value to the firm and possible future employers. Although many companies such as Netflix have entered different countries to pursue growth, smaller companies might grow by expanding into different regions of the same country. For example, Express Employment Professionals began as a small staffing firm in Oklahoma and has since grown by expanding into hundreds of markets around the USA.
A study referenced by Forbes.com showed companies that promote employees from within outperform those that fill positions with external hires. College graduates willing to join a business during its early stages might at first accept a lower wage, but the increased chances of promotion within the firm can compensate for any initial loss.
Cameron Johnson is a BYU Alumni and business consultant. Since graduating from college in 2013, he has conducted case studies on both social media optimization and non-profit marketing. Cameron has also had the opportunity to speak at international marketing conferences and was recently recognized as one of the world’s top 100 advertising experts to follow on social media.
May 05, 2016 by William Frierson
Many students place a higher value on “prestigious” internships at places like Goldman Sachs for finance, CNN for media, and Facebook for technology. While there is definitely value in interning for these firms, most of that value is derived from the perception of other people. I would encourage students to look smaller. I think experience working for small businesses and organizations can be the BIGGEST hidden gem in your college career. This played out in my own recruiting process. One of the best internships I had was with a small investment firm in Charlotte, North Carolina. The office consisted of only 15 people, and the internship was unpaid. However, I think I learned three years of skills and knowledge in my three months with the company. I have also seen this take place for other students I have interviewed on my podcast “Interns on Fire.” More often than not, students have a better experience interning for smaller organizations and here is why:
1. More responsibility: Since these companies are smaller, they lack the bureaucratic red tape that prevents interns from doing meaningful work. These companies are often competing against larger companies with 10% of the workforce. This translates to more meaningful work for interns.
2. More diversity: For many of the same reasons mentioned earlier, employees for these companies wear multiple hats. They have to coordinate events, answer customer calls, process orders, and manage key strategic initiatives. Since they work across different divisions, interns are more likely to do the same. Therefore, they will not be siloed into just one role or with just one task for their entire internships. Interns will likely get the opportunity to work across many different areas.
3. Better culture: Typically, smaller firms have better cultures and camaraderie. Because they are smaller, they tend to focus more on hiring people who are good culture fits. Hiring one bad egg does a lot more harm to a small organization than it does for a Fortune 500 company. Working for a smaller organization will give interns greater access to potential mentors and friends.
4. Ability to make an impact: Given that many small organizations have so much to accomplish with so few resources, they are often spread thin. In many cases, there have already identified a few valuable projects they just haven’t had the chance to work on yet. This leaves the door wide open for interns to come in and make an impact.
Don’t be afraid to go smaller. It can be the catalyst you need to jumpstart your college career. An internship with the right organization can be a game changer.
Carl Schlotman IV was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. Carl completed six internships in his collegiate career with world-class financial institutions such as: Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and Goldman Sachs. After gaining experience with his internships and accepting a full-time offer with Wells Fargo Securities in Investment Banking upon graduation, Carl seeks to give back to younger students. He published his first book, Cash in Your Diploma, in April 2014.
Carl has spoken at several universities around the country to share his strategies and tactics for getting the job you want in the field of your choice, making the salary you desire. He also hosts a podcast highlighting the best student interns across the country, “Interns On Fire.”